Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Colourful Beauties; Easy Care: Pelargoniums Are Perfect for Traditional Style Gardens

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Colourful Beauties; Easy Care: Pelargoniums Are Perfect for Traditional Style Gardens

Article excerpt

Byline: IN THE GARDEN Paul Worland

PELARGONIUMS are perfect for bright, long-lasting colour in sunny garden beds.

They flower in all shades of pink, orange, red, white and mauve, often with attractively patterned foliage.

So easy to care for that they are often taken for granted, they are perfect for gardeners who want a traditional style garden with reliable, colourful flowers. Is there any wonder that this humble perennial is one of the most popular garden plants all around the world?

Pelargonium or geranium?: Pelargoniums were once scientifically classified under the genus name a[approximately]geranium' and although they have since been re-classified under the genus pelargonium, a[approximately]geranium' remains their common name in daily language.

Whenever you see the word a[approximately]geranium' on plant labels in garden centres, it is almost always a reference to pelargoniums. Plants labelled as zonal geraniums, scented geraniums, ivy geraniums and regal geraniums are all actually pelargoniums.

(Look closer at the scientific name on the plant label. The word a[approximately]pelargonium' will be in capitals.)

In this article, the scientifically correct name a[approximately]pelargonium' will be used to avoid confusion.

Although there are some 250 species in the pelargonium genus, the ones most common in home gardens are usually cultivars of a couple of species native to southern Africa.

There are also pelargoniums native to Australia, the Middle East and other parts of Africa.

Where to plant: Pelargoniums will grow and flower best in full sun, although they can also do well in part shade.

Tolerant of heat and dry conditions, they are also an excellent choice in coastal gardens.

Pelargoniums can't survive heavy frosts, however, and so are often treated as an annual in cool regions.

Preparing the soil: Pelargoniums can often be seen rambling through older gardens, apparently thriving on neglect.

They will grow quite happily in poor, sandy soils but if you want to grow really beautiful pelargoniums, especially the new hybrids with their bigger, brighter flowers, it pays to take a little extra care in creating the best growing conditions for them. …

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